As the old Chinese saying goes, “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” We’ve all heard that giving – whether its by volunteering time, donating money, or lending resources – can give us feelings of inner contentment and happiness, yet many of us do not implement this. According to the Corporation for National Community Center, approximately 25.3% of Americans volunteer, equaling out to 62.8 million volunteers. While this may seem like a lot, the percentage confirms otherwise.

First, we must consider why giving, or volunteering, is important. The Huffington Post notes in “The Simple Act That Will Bring More Joy and Fulfillment to Your Life” that giving to others can help you build connections, leading to deeper friendships and memories made. Humans thrive on connection and belonging, so giving to others is a wonderful way to initiate that connection. Secondly, while we may hear of devastating news stories, doing something kind can help bring a little more love back into the world. Knowing that we are making a difference and bettering our community leaves a mark that nothing else can replace. Additionally, giving to others means that we can expand on the skills we already have, as well as develop new ones, which can look good on a resume. Gaining that experience of working with different people and organizations makes you that much more prepared for other life situations.

There are several ways that we can find more fulfillment in our daily lives. Each day, we must recognize what’s most important to us and those that we love. Stephenie Zamora, life and business coach for over a decade, explained on the Huffington Post article that celebrating small, rewarding events in our lives and our loved ones’ lives are important. She suggests going out to eat or doing something healthy and fun to reward those you love for small achievements, such as not smoking cigarettes for a week or receiving praise from a boss. No matter the occasion, recognizing these beautiful moments in life can help us to appreciate them more. In addition, if we can become elated for others who have something to celebrate, we are opening our heart to them and can become more connected through giving.





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